The Making Of “The Eton Rifles” by The Jam

Weller, Foxton and Buckler tell the story behind their classic single

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VIC COPPERSMITH HEAVEN
Producer
“Around the time of ‘Eton Rifles‘ we were spending much more time in the studio compared to the earlier recordings. If my memory serves me right, we recorded three separate versions of ‘Eton Rifles‘. We would work at least nine or 10 hours every day depending on how inspired everyone was feeling.The band would set up to play live and we would then add a guide vocal. I was a bit of a task master and sometimes I would push Paul a bit too far to keep recording his lead vocal. It wouldn’t work unless the lead vocal line had the power and tuning to carry the track. It was interesting because the band were as keen as myself to re-record some tracks completely if the energy wasn’t there.

“The most difficult part was the mixing. After several attempts, I just couldn’t capture the atmosphere of the 10 minute rough mix at the end of the recording session, so, in the end I transferred elements of the original into the ‘finished’ recording, a laborious process involving sixty-five tape edits, all completed by hand. That’s commitment!”

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